Samsung on Wednesday unveiled the Galaxy Gear smartwatch at it’s ‘Unpacked event’ in Berlin, a Bluetooth companion watch for the Galaxy Note 3 and 10.1 and might later include selected other galaxy devices.
Finally Samsung’s first outing with wearable device is here in the shape of Galaxy Gear. The company prefers to call it a wearable device that also functions as a wrist watch. A smart play of words and we will detail it below.
The future is steering towards wearable devices and while on one side Google is prepping up it’s Google Glass, the other war front that would see heavy action is wearable devices for your wrist. We have already Pebble and Sony Smart watch but everyone expects the current big daddy’s of the tech world, Apple and Samsung to leverage their might here. While Apple’s iWatch is yet a mystery, Samsung unveiled it’s first generation Samsung Galaxy Gear and takes advantage of the first-mover over it’s rival.
Samsung Galaxy Gear specs
The Galaxy Gear features a 1.63-inch Super AMOLED touchscreen with 320 x 320 resolution that adds up to a sharp 277 pixels per inch. It also includes a 1.9-megapixel strap-mounted camera with a BSI sensor and an auto-focus lens which shoots low-resolution snapshots and 10-second 720p video clips as part of the memographer feature to capture quickly various moments in life on the move. The device is powered by a 800 mHz processor, 512MB RAM and includes 4GB of internal storage. It connects to your Galaxy phone or tablet via Bluetooth 4.0and packs a non-removable 315 mAh battery which the company claims will last for a day.
Samsung Galaxy Gear features
To begin with Samsung Galaxy Gear is not a stand alone device but currently is only compatible with Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 edition while works on the way to release an update as early as October to get it work with selected other devices like Galaxy S4, S3 and Note 2. It’s quiet clear that the Korean giant wants to use the Galaxy Gear as an accessory for it’s Galaxy devices. This might disappoint scores of other Android users hoping to use it with their non-Samsung Android smartphones or stand alone device.
So what Galaxy gear can do?
For starters, no more fumbling and pulling out your smartphone to check for incoming calls, messages, emails. The Gear notifies you of all the incoming alerts and also gives a preview notifications. To top it, when you check the preview messages on the watch and for further action you pick the smartphone, the Smart Relay feature keeps the emails or messages automatically open in the phone screen.
The 1.9 megapixel camera mounted on the strap acts an event log for your life memories allowing for snapping low-resolution pictures as well as 10-second videos on the go and quickly. The 4 GB included storage should be good enough for your random life collage. You can also share the moments with social networks.
How about recording your thoughts or conversations and save those voice snippets into texts on your Galaxy devices? Voice memo for your rescue. Talk to your wrist now and make a collage of your thoughts.
With the Galaxy Gear strapped on, you can now control the music played on your smartphone directly from the Gear’s screen. Though it does not store music, you can browse, play and pause songs playing on your connected Galaxy device.
In-built Pedometer and sensors
It’s a feature that would appeal to many by tracking physical activity. It tracks data like calories burned, steps taken and distance covered taking a cue from the S-Health app that Samsung introduced with Galaxy S4. Additionally it also has built-in accelerometer and gyroscope.
As a jump start, Samsung has lined up 70 third party apps to work with Gear. It supports and features fitness apps like RunKeeper and MyFitnessPal and other apps like Evernote, Line, Ebay and TripIt. Expect more third party apps to join the fray as the device gain traction. Though exact details of how the apps interact with Gear is yet to be revealed by the app partners.
Availability and pricing of Galaxy Gear
Beginning September 25, Galaxy Gear will be available in more than 140 countries. In US it should be available for $299.